For all the other ifs and buts weathered during the closing throes of Sunday’s tense World Cup final between England and New Zealand at Lord’s, midwicket fielder Trent Boult’s mishap on the boundary can’t be overlooked.
From the initial tie and the deadlocked Super Over to that ricochet from Player of the Match Ben Stokes’ bat, the finale in London served up plenty of drama.
England’s requirement would have read substantially larger – and New Zealand might have won the match – had Boult not stepped on the boundary rope in the 49th over of the pursuit.
But he did, and what could have been a catch was rightly adjudged six runs to Stokes off the bowling of seamer Jimmy Neesham. Boult has taken some impressive catches, but this one was not to be.
The additional six contributed to England’s boundary tally, which ultimately proved the difference in deciding Sunday’s winner.
The English welcomed a maiden World Cup title, having lost finals to the West Indies, Australia and Pakistan in 1979, 1987 and 1992, respectively. New Zealand, meanwhile, remain without a title. They had lost the 2015 final to Australia, too.
New Zealand’s Kane Williamson was afforded some consolation after being named Player of the Tournament on the back 578 runs – the most by a captain at a World Cup – in nine innings at an average of 82.57.
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